November 10, 2004

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Update on Availability of Flu Vaccine
The Bureau of Health has finalized a flu vaccine distribution plan for the state. On Monday, the Bureau received word from the CDC that it would receive between 150,000 and 160,000 doses, which is far more than originally expected. Every provider who ordered from the Bureau or who completed the Bureau survey will now receive some vaccine, although very few will receive 100% of that requested. Physician practices needing vaccine which neither ordered any from the Bureau nor completed the survey may order some now by calling ASAP the Provider Line at 1-800-867-4775.

Distribution of Influenza Vaccine - Methodology
November - December 2004

Approximately , 150,000 doses of inactivated influenza vaccine are being distributed by the Bureau of Health to over 800 health care providers* across the State during November and December.

      -     Our objective is to assure access to influenza vaccine to those Mainers at highest risk for severe complications.
          Even with additional supplies of influenza vaccine available in Maine, there will not be enough vaccine for those whom it is normally recommended.
          Current supplies vary across Maine - some report to us few if any supplies; others report some supply.  No one reports adequate supply of vaccine.
          Because so many who need vaccine are unable to travel long distances to centralized clinics,  and some such clinics have already taken place in large population areas, distribution is being dispersed to health care providers across Maine rather than to regional or centralized entities.

Distribution was determined using several sources of information:
          Previously-placed orders with the Bureau of Health;
          Influenza vaccine supply by county distributed by Aventis; and
      -     Surveys of health care providers conducted in October by Bureau of Health.

Influenza vaccine distributed directly to (weeks of 11/1 and 11/8):
     Long term care facilities - generally, 80% of bed count;
      -     Pediatric providers who ordered from Bureau of Health - generally, 24% of placed orders.  Additional pediatric vaccine is anticipated, and will be distributed to same providers as it becomes available.

Methodology for determining distribution of available Adult Vaccine (non-long term care):
      1.    Vaccine already distributed by county is determined from Aventis information.
      2.    Using county census populations, the ideal amount of vaccine per county is calculated.
      3.    Using above two measurements, need for vaccine per county is determined.
      4.    Orders previously placed with Bureau of Health and responses to health care provider surveys are combined and compiled by county, and are used to determine distribution recipients and amounts for vaccine.
      5.    Regions and towns within counties and common cross-county patient flow patterns are examined to assure vaccine is being distributed to address sub-county needs (for instance, examining proposed distribution in towns such as Calais and Machias, examining vaccine supplies and providers in the two-county area of Bath-Brunswick-Topsham).  Where vaccine appears inadequate, phone calls are made and in some cases, additional providers are identified to receive vaccine.
      6.    Priorities for receiving vaccine include: rural health centers, FQHCs, Indian Health Services, local public health departments, other providers who previously ordered from us, and other providers who responded to surveys.
      7.    Vaccine to be shipped starting week of 11/8 and into December.

     At least 1,500 doses of FluMist vaccine are being supplied by the Bureau of Health for healthy health care workers, mostly hospital-based.
      -     Maine's Regional Resource Centers for public health emergency preparedness (located at EMMC, CMMC, and MMC) are planning and implementing the distribution of this vaccine.

*Examples of providers are physician practices (counting as 1 provider), health centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, local public health departments, and home health agencies.

For more information or to contact us directly, please visit l ©2003, Maine Medical Association